web analytics
October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Jewish Federations Chiefs Call for Free Jewish Preschool

By: JTA

The leaders of the Jewish Federations of North America are calling for free Jewish preschool for every Jewish family in America.

Jewish Federations CEO Jerry Silverman and board chairman Michael Siegal said free Jewish preschool would “dramatically widen the pipeline of families entering Jewish life through this critical early gateway.”

The idea was one of four proffered by Silverman and Siegal to “intensify — and make affordable — the most effective vehicles for engaging people in Jewish life,” they wrote.

The two also called for tripling the percentage of Jewish kids attending Jewish summer camps, to 30 percent; more follow-up with alumni of Birthright Israel trips; and intensive investment in Jewish programming in parts of the country where Jewish density is high but Jewish engagement is low.

Asked in an interview with JTA if he has a road map to deliver free Jewish preschool to every Jewish family in America, Silverman said, “It’s an idea. These are four concepts and ideas. Our goal is to unpack these, take a look at these, take a look at the models that are already out there and see what this idea could really turn into. And once we unpack it we will be able to really see what is reasonable and what is executable. But we think it’s in the right direction.”

The Jewish Federations has changed its plans for the upcoming General Assembly in Jerusalem to make room for discussion of ideas to address the negative trends in American Jewish life evident in the Pew Research Center’s recent survey of U.S. Jews. The survey showed American Jews assimilating at faster rates than ever.

Silverman and Siegal offered little in the way of specifics.

On Birthright follow-up, the two authors issued a call for Birthright’s “gatekeepers to share this vast database of alumni contacts with us so that we have a mechanism to engage them in Jewish life.”

Silverman told JTA, “If we’re supporting this as a community and as philanthropists, then let’s make sure that we’re staying in some way and in some form and in the right way connected with these young people so they know there’s varying entry points into the community and into Jewish life.”

On the subject of Jewish camp, Silverman did not identify a particular strategy for increasing enrollment but told JTA that the Foundation for Jewish Camp, which he led for five years before he assumed the helm of the Jewish Federations, is working on a number of strategies for increasing market demand for Jewish camps.

On the subject of dense Jewish communities with low Jewish engagement — Silverman cited Denver, San Diego and Phoenix — the Op-Ed called for “Jewish Development Zones” that would develop the free Jewish preschool model, build an excellent Jewish summer camp, support existing Jewish youth programming, and develop programs for Birthright alumni and young Jewish singles.

“These ideas that Michael and I have written about are not set in stone,” Silverman told JTA. “These are ideas to question, to debate, to challenge. But we think they’re pretty solid because let’s start with low-hanging fruit instead of creating from afresh.

“We are very open and hungry to listen to dialogue that occurs. There may be another idea that comes out that’s better, so be it. We felt we needed to put our seeds in the ground to say OK, here’s what we see, here’s what we think. Let’s start the dialogue and put something on the table.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Jewish Federations Chiefs Call for Free Jewish Preschool”

  1. Ch Hoffman says:

    "free preschool" is lovely

    but to the extent that it dilutes the resources available to sustain day schools, it is the height of lunacy

  2. Yechiel Baum says:

    Day schools and high schools get their fair share of money and abuse it.
    There should be a minimum quantity of students in the schools otherwise, consolidate neighborhood schools into bigger buildings and more Jewish children can get a Jewish education as opposed to leaving many to go to public schools without any Jewish education because of high costs. Lower schools tuition as well since Jewish parents pay for eductation in their taxes and then exhorbitant tuitions which makes for double taxation and with all of the holidays off, the prices should be pro-rated. The old excuse that teachers who only work half a day anyway need to prepare for the holidays is invalid since working parents seem to manage to do things in advance. Since they work half day, it gives them the advantage to help full time working parents to get ready for the holidays too. Lets be FAIR!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Abbas' Fatah party praises the terrorist who attempted to murder Rabbi Yehuda Glick.
Abbas’ Fatah Party Calls for ‘Day of Rage’ on Muslim ‘Day of Rest’
Latest News Stories
Tour guide Yehuda Glick (right) leading a group on Temple Mount.

Highlight: Exclusive Interview with Rabbi Yehuda Glick at the Foot of the Temple Mount.

Doctors reported as of 8 p.m. (2 p.m. EDT) Thursday night that there is a “very small” improvement in the condition of Yehuda Glick, gunned down by an Arab terrorists Wednesday night, but that he still is in critical condition and his life remains in danger.

Foreign Minister Lieberman may be playing “chicken.” What happens if France follows Sweden?

Conference of Jewish groups chided the Obama administration for the nasty comments made about Bibi.

Feiglin was standing next to Glick during the assassination attempt

A small caliber weapon was used to shoot at IDF troops patrolling along the border near Quneitra.

Abbas didn’t even condemn the shooting of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick.

Arab rioters threw firecrackers at Border Police in the Old City in Jerusalem Thursday and lightly wounded at least one tourist. Police arrested one Arab youth. Earlier in the day, Arabs hurled rocks at a bus in eastern Jerusalem. No property damage or injuries were reported, and one Arab was arrested. In the Jabel Mukaber […]

The Islamic Jihad was thrilled with the shooting of Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick and said “he got what he deserved, the Mann reported. Daoud Shihab, Islamic Jihad spokesperson, told Ma’an that attempted murder of Glick, who is in critical condition as of this moment, was a “natural response” to defend Jerusalem” and the Al-Aqsa […]

A cartoonist has turned the tables on an attack cartoon against the PM published by the leftist daily Ha’aretz.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick’s condition has taken a turn for the worse. He needs prayers. Yehuda Yehoshua ben Rivka Itta Breindel.

The father and brother of the Islamic Jihad terrorist who allegedly shot Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick were arrested Thursday in Silwan.

The “silent” intifada is roaring at the gates, Harriet, and threatening to bash the door in. It’s silent no more. Who’s really inciting terrorism?

Female tourist injured when struck by rocks thrown by Arabs at the Kotel.

More Articles from JTA
Journalist and author Eric Lichtblau.

The book should make Jews in America fell a little bit queasy, to say the least.

Chief Rabbis David Lau (L) and Yitzhak Yosef opposed the bill on giving local rabbis power for conversion.

The bill would take power away from the Haredi Chief Rabbis but but does not authorize non-orthodox conversions.

Student groups hosted at least 374 anti-Israel events during the 2013-2014 academic year, with about 40 percent of them focused on how to initiate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns on campus.

Israel’s ambassador to Jordan suggested that King Abdullah’s recent rants against Israel stems from pressure by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt.

“God is trying to wake us up,” said the grandfather.

The mortar, which hit Israel on Tuesday morning, did not cause any injuries or damage.

Leslie W., 48, and his partner Akiwa H., 56, are charged with having sold more than 88,000 pounds of non-kosher meat for a marked-up price.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-federations-chiefs-call-for-free-jewish-preschool/2013/10/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: